Can your household go screen-free for a week?
Screen-Free Week is April 18-24. This used to be called "Turn off the TV Week," but the idea has been expanded to include all screens and computer time. The expansion was prompted by studies like this 2010 article in Psychiatric Times entitled "The Impact of Screen Media on Children," Dr. Mary G. Burke reports that children who play video games more than 20 hours a week start to develop a pathway in the brain that curiously mimics another, more alarming one.
“[The gamers] showed increased glucose metabolism in the right obitofrontal gyrus, left caudata, and right insula after play. Decreased metabolism was seen ... while at rest. These patterns were similar to those seen in drug addicts ... suggest[ing] that online gaming may be addictive to the genetically vulnerable.”
Addicts. Is that what we've become?
I have to admit to my own need to just veg out. I know the kids crave it too. I'm trying to picture a week where we all come home and turn nothing on when we walk in the door. We use our phones only to call people, not to surf Facebook. Could we do it? Would we go crazy like addicts in withdrawal?
I think I'd have a hard time getting my family on board with this idea, but it certainly intrigues me.
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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